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    Speaking from experience
    By Michelle

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    I did my major student teaching in the fall and I wish that I had prepared the following:

    1 - At least one bulletin board and three manipulative activities related to seasonal themes for each month (Leave the game pieces blank until they are laminated. Write on the laminated pieces with a sharpie marker. You can use hairspray to remove the marker so the pieces can be reused from year to year with new skills.)

    2 - Get the textbooks ahead of time, if possible and become familiar with the topics and skills to be covered.

    3 - Start a file system to keep worksheets and ideas you collect

    4 - Prepare writing forms and topics related to seasonal themes - at least 4 for each month

    5 - Collect at least 4 seasonal books for each month and have three or 4 activities prepared for each. Make some of them longer and some shorter. My first day student teaching my supervising teacher was coming back from an extended absence due to a family emergency. She was behind in paper work and we had 60 kindergarteners in our room for recess and story time because it was raining. I assured her that I could handle the group and encourage her to work on her paperwork. I pulled out my story and played the games that went along with it. I kept all 60 enthralled for the whole hour. Needless to say, she was very impressed.

    These are not the most important things that you will do during student teaching, but they are time consuming things. If you already have them done, you will be able to devote your time and energy to planning and dealing with students' individual needs.

    A couple of pieces of advice from an 11 year veteran: Laminate everything. I am still using some of the things I made in student teaching. Make liberal use of the school's die-dut machine in case your next school doesn't have one. Be sure to make letters in a variety of colors. Keep a copy of every worksheet, writing prompt, instructions for games, art projects, etc. File them where they can be found. I still use the file I started in student teaching and it has saved me repeatedly. Get a camera and take pictures of your bulletin boards, art projects, etc. If another teacher has something up that you like, ask for permission to take a picture. She'll certainly consider it a compliment.

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